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The sobering cost of workplace injuries to Ohio, nation

A recent study relying upon data culled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and more than 40 other job-related databases sheds light on just how much construction accidents and other workplace injuries cost the United States each year, in terms of medical costs, lowered productivity and related factors.

Here's how much, according to the research: $250 billion per year, which exceeds by more than $30 billion the annual financial impact nationally associated with all types of cancers combined. Furthermore, the nearly 60,000 work-related deaths that typically occur in a given year owing to injuries and diseases exceed by more than 15,000 the number of fatal victims from motor vehicle accidents.

Statistics like that belie any fiction that workplace hazards and danger are only occasional elements in factories, warehouses, offices, construction zones and other work environments in Ohio and elsewhere across the country.

Notwithstanding tighter federal and state safety guidelines and regulations that have issued in recent years, along with the efforts of organizations like the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) focused on increased worker safety, workplace injuries, deaths and costs remain high. The just-completed study notes, for example, that the costs relating to job-related injuries have increased by well more than $30 billion over the past 10 years.

The study also notes that workers' compensation nationally covers less than one fourth of workplace-injury costs. That finding is strong impetus for an injured worker who is unsure of coverage and applicable law -- as well as potential legal claims against third parties who may have been culpable in an injury -- to secure the assistance of an experienced workers' compensation attorney.

Source: US News & World Report, "U.S. work-related injuries, illnesses take toll on the till" Jan. 20, 2012

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